Samples of Professional Projects

Never Forget!

Mobile App for Backpack Users to Make Reminders with Ease

Never Forget! was made for people who use Basecamp’s Web-based organizational tool, Backpack, which is no longer supported. This project began when I received a request to work together from Steve Dale, a colleague-turned-collaborator. Never Forget! was available for purchase in the Apple’s App Store and Google Android Market. Making a digital product a reality was a fascinating and intensive process—having written about the collaborative experience. The learning continues when it comes to scratching your digital itch.

Really enjoying Never Forget! The design is spot on and well-integrated with Backpack Reminders.

Zachary Christoff
GIS Developer
Minneapolis, Minnesota

I use Backpack a lot. So I downloaded Never Forget! I’m very impressed. The app looks really good and is super intuitive. Great work!

Ryan Evans
Bitesize PR, Lift Marketing
Chicago, Illinois

Aptium Global

Identity, Information, Graphic and Web Design for Aptium Global

Aptium Global was founded by Lisa Reisman, who knows a lot about the business of metals. Makes sense since her company works with manufacturers to make better decisions in purchasing metals. I was referred to Reisman in 2002. What started as a brand identity project had grown quickly into designing a diverse range of communication efforts, such as reports, presentations, infographics, newsletters, plus a Web-based app to help metals-minded people be kept current on metal prices. Reisman’s passion and all-around geekiness about metals and their industries had influenced me to become a regular contributor to writing about design-related topics at her blog MetalMiner™, which evolved into a top online destination in the domestic metals scene.

I would highly recommend Nate for information design for both print and Web. His unique approach to understanding his clients' business and their customers allows him to develop differentiated brand identities. His professionalism is unmatched.

Lisa Reisman
Managing Director
Aptium Global
Chicago, Illinois

Aptium Global

Identity, Information, Graphic and Web Design for Azul Partners

Azul Partners was founded by Jason Busch who also runs, at the same time, Spend Matters™—a leading blog-turned-platform about the trend of spend management. His company analyzes procurement, trade and supply chain issues. I was referred to Busch in 2002. Designing the first generation of his business identity led to a variety of projects, such as reports, presentations and newsletters.

My firm engaged his services to help define our visual, print and Web image to the market. He was able to quickly translate our concepts and thoughts around our image into a visual representation that was exactly what we were looking for. He did it efficiently, on budget and on time. Since that initial engagement, his services have remained invaluable as we continue to refine our Web image and create brochures and collateral.

Jason Busch
Managing Director
Azul Partners
Chicago, Illinois

Aptium Global

Identity, Information, Graphic, Web and Environmental Design for Glenshore

Glenshore is a property of Heimbaugh Capital Development Corporation, a small family-run business. At the time in 2003, Kristin Buss was the Director of Market and Sales. Remembering me from a previous meeting, she told me about a “mixed-used real estate development” project—part condominiums, part retail—overlooking Lake Glenview in Glenview, Illinois. A nature-infused project was designed as part of a total communication program. It included a substantial Website—no longer online since the project was sold to homeowners—plus environmental graphics for the sales trailer.

From printed and online communication to environmental graphics and signage, Nate provided a highly focused and attractive information design system for identifying, selling and marketing our Glenshore property. He took in a diverse and dense amount of content and transformed it into an organized and effective brand to our intended customers.

Kristin Buss
Director of Sales and Marketing
Heimbaugh Capital
Development Corporation
Northbrook, Illinois

Rei Hotoda

Identity, Graphic and Web Design for Rei Hotoda

Rei Hotoda is a conductor and pianist. When we met in 2004, she needed an identity and a Website, as she began seeking a full-time appointment. Her talents fed the direct hints to music making and performing like the visual reference to musical notation. One of the aspects of her original Website was the preferred use of video stills as imagery. As Hotoda put it, she liked the “rezing of it.” She eventually joined the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Canada, as an Assistant Conductor in 2006. With this transition came the conversion of her original site into a blog, which I didn’t handle. She currently is the Assistant Conductor at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Being in a creative world myself, the music field, I found Nate's ideas and input very useful and extraordinary. It was difficult for me to visualize what I wanted to convey on my Website and he transformed my intangible expression into a solid and beautiful work of information design. I endorse Nate Burgos with much enthusiasm.

Rei Hotoda
Conductor and Concert Pianist
Dallas, Texas

UIC College of Architecture and the Arts

Graphic Design for UIC College of Architecture and the Arts

College of Architecture and the Arts is part of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2000, I was referred to Jane Saks, the former Director of Advancement. Her chief goal was to drive donations to support the College. The organization’s annual printed newsletter was a critical piece of the campaign to persuade existing and prospective donors. When Saks left the College to pursue a new role, it ended a fun and effective five-year drive to refresh one of its most visible publications and evolve a visual language to celebrate the College’s people and events. Along the way, we received recognition from the University & College Designers Association.

For 5 years, we created an annual publication/visual identity for an Arts & Achitecture College. The results had to reach a wide range of populations, encourage multiple responses and support many different relationships. Nate did a superb job bringing a wealth of invaluable experiences, insights, talents and sensibilities to the process. One of the best collaborative experiences I have ever had!

Jane Saks
Executive Director
Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media Columbia College
Chicago, Illinois


User Experience Design for Varied Clients

I was an Information Architect at a few digital-design agencies, like SapientNitro of global consulting company Sapient Corporation. Since 2007, I was involved in interactive design projects like large Websites, from telecomm to retail ecommerce, plus intranets, for different clients—mostly XXL, others not so large. Industries: financial services, telecommunications, beverage, medical, hotel and education.

We worked together on an interactive strategy project and
I can honestly say that if it
weren't for Nate's intellect, hard work and considerate insights into how humans interact
with products—we would not have been successful in
our work.

Nate is a passionate advocate
for the human beings who
use things and his approach to interactive design/information architecture/user experience reflects his dedication to the craft.

I’d recommend Nate for any
UX design opportunity.

Robb Stevenson
Information Architecture Manager
Los Angeles, California

Digital Product Design

Digital Product Design

From shipping mobile app Never Forget! to documenting my usage of the first Google Phone to participating in engagements involving “smartphones” at SapientNitro, my interest in user interface and interaction design has been nourished. Open to work in information architecture and visual communication design.


Explore Design Feast

Design is a moveable feast

Design Feast is a long-term project dedicated to creative culture for everyone—students, professionals, educators and the curious. Its purpose—and pleasure—is to discover and share awesome creative voices and projects. It features the long-running Designer’s Quest(ionnaire) consisting of 100+ concise and insightful interviews with designers representing many disciplines. After 10 years, a major redesign of Design Feast was done to better present its steady growth and to help accommodate future pursuits. It underwent another redesign afterwards to sharpen the focus on the resulting breadth and depth of its Series, also featuring Bloggers, Makers and creators of Side Projects.

Design Feast is a wonderful bibliography for the wider design community.

Gitte Jonsdatter
User Researcher
Chicago, Illinois

This site has so many links to interesting design-related Websites that it will probably keep me learning and entertained for months if not years. It is one of those sites that I will keep going back to over and over to glean the knowledge the skills for specific projects. Design Feast should be extremely helpful for designers, photographers and illustrators.

Patricia Ballard
Photographer and Fractal Artist
Santa Fe, New Mexico,
and Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Scratch your niche: Fun and fulfillment through Web-based projects

Design Feast Publications

Scratch your niche is among a few publications I’ve launched. Some were assembled, like Don’t settle. Others were written, like BROKEN. All self-published with pride.

Nate Burgos has released another good [Scratch your niche] into the commons. With his typical thoughtfulness and care, he’s put together an incredibly useful resource packed with detailed examples helpful to both those new to Web projects and ‘old hands’ that need a refresher. Well-done!

Eleanor Mayrhofer
Founder and Owner
Munich, Germany

Design Feaster Blog

Design Feaster: Design Feast’s blog

Coupled with Design Feast is its proactive blog, Design Feaster. For those interested in blogging, check out my series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire), which are on-point interviews with people who give blogging a wholehearted try and stick to it. There are also reflections—like this post celebrating mentorship—informative Interviews, Audio Reviews, including a new series celebrating the Tools used by people to help fulfill their work and get things done.


I’m committed to helping the Fortune 5,000,000. Since discovering this term in a blog post
by “frustration-free” Web-based app maker Basecamp (Chicago), I like using it. It refers to the independent do-it-yourselfers who start a business and work at making it steady and
thriving—whether it’s small, freelance or on the side burner.

Most of my freelance work is for the Fortune 5,000,000. I help them make communicative design the best it can be, for their passions and the audiences for whom they create. Because I believe in the poetics of information. What the heck does this mean? I try to make information have a poetic quality through typography. This is hard work, and good design is just that. What’s more, my parents taught me to work hard. It also sounds romantic, but as my former design mentor John Massey said, “I’m a bloody romantic.”

Chicago Community Trust
I had the great opportunity to teach with John Massey, an AIGA Medalist, and also worked for him on projects for clients like the Chicago Community Trust (above), the American Planning Association and the Chicago Tribune.

AboutI’m the first recipient of MDM (Master of Design Methods) degree from “D-school” Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology where I took classes like Observing Users (above). I was also part of Fast Company’s debut Fast 50 and acquired an Ideas that Matter grant—given to support design for the public good—from Sappi Fine Papers.

In addition to my professional work and activities, I collect rare examples of beautiful book design, such as first editions of Eric Gill’s “An Essay on Typography” (1931), Paul Rand’s “Thoughts on Design” (1947) and Ladislav Sutnar’s “Catalog Design Progress”(1950). See the video—and read how it was made—about the “World Geo-Graphic Atlas” (1953) by Herbert Bayer.

When it comes to my work, I’m learning, relearning and ever-thankful.

CreativeMornings was created by Tina Roth Eisenberg, who runs design blog Swissmiss. Glad that a community chapter was established in Chicago. Been experiencing as many of their talks as possible, because they’re my kind of design conference. Explore my regular coverage of write-ups and look at photos.

ChangeThis Manifesto

ChangeThis is a cool Website with well-written and designed, what-they-call, “manifestos” focused on better ways to work. I was fortunate to write one and get it published. Read it.

Geek Girls Guide

The Geek Girls Guide is run by the Minneapolis-based duo of Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker. “Their mission is to make Web technology accessible and exciting and cultivate a movement of empowered women and men.” I was honored to write a post for them about Basecamp’s former Webapp Backpack, which I enjoyed using a lot. Read it. It also appeared at Basecamp’s former product blog.


Greetings, opportunities, comments, questions should be emailed to Nate Burgos.


Design Feast
Designer’s Quest(ionnaire)
Coverage of design-related Events, including CreativeMornings
Interviews with people who love being Makers and enjoy having Side Projects
Quotes: Arts and Life, Design

Design Feaster Blog
Audio Reviews of books about business and design
Book-inspired Infographics
Interface Details
Patronage of people, places, things noticed
Tweeted food for thought

Rare Book Feast
Film #1: Herbert Bayer’s Book of Maps
Film #2: John Christopher Jones’ Book on Design Methods
Film #3: Cosmic side of Bayer’s Atlas

Typography found across America
Project details: Design work

Thankfully featured by:

37signals (renamed Basecamp)
The Atlantic 1
Brain Pickings 1, 2
The Creative Group 1

Design Taxi 1
Gary Vaynerchuk
in his book The Thank You Economy
Grain Edit
1, 2
Swissmiss 1, 2, 3, 4